Invisalign clear aligners or ‘invisible braces’ are a popular treatment option for people who are uncomfortable with the appearance of traditional metal braces. Invisalign braces are custom-made using the latest dental aligner technology, for precise teeth straightening over time.
As an orthodontic patient, however, you have a role to play in how quickly and effectively they will work. Here are 11 simple ways to optimize the quality of your Invisalign treatment:
- Wear Your Aligners at Least 22 Hours a Day
- Maintain Good Oral Health
- Keep Your Aligners Clean
- Use a Whitening Toothpaste
- Monitor Your Diet
- Don’t Fight the Invisalign Attachments
- Change Your Aligners on Time and in the Right Order
- Keep a Retainer Case With You
- Use Invisalign Aligner Chewies
- Say Yes to IPR (If needed)
- Use a Retainer After You Finish Treatment
It can take a little time to get used to wearing removable aligners all day, but this is an essential part of your treatment. You need to wear them for a minimum of 22 hours every day, and remove the aligners only while eating and drinking or brushing your teeth. Wearing the aligners full-time ensures that they start fitting better, which keeps the Invisalign treatment time from getting extended. Also, the more you wear your aligners, the more comfortable you will be with each new set!
It’s important to clean your teeth and mouth during the treatment since food particles can get trapped in the Invisalign attachments or between your teeth. This leads to the growth of bacteria and plaque, which puts you at risk of tooth decay. Brush after every meal and floss every day to dislodge any food particles that may be stuck in your teeth. Drink plenty of fresh water and avoid eating hard or sticky foods during your treatment, especially if you have Invisalign attachments.
Invisalign clear aligners need to be cleaned properly. Here are a few ways to clean your aligners:
Either use the Invisalign Aligner Cleaning System, which uses special crystals to remove plaque from your aligners.
You can clean your aligners with antibacterial soap and warm water.
You can also use toothpaste to clean your aligners.
Clear aligners can lose their clarity if they aren’t cleaned properly or subjected to food that can stain them. They can appear cloudy and can even develop an odor if food particles get stuck in them.
Related Post: Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning your Invisalign Braces
Whitening toothpaste is more effective during treatment since the fluoride, and whitening substance (present in the whitening toothpaste) are not washed away by saliva and held in place by the aligners.
Invisalign affects your diet in many ways. Since you just have 2 hours to eat and clean your teeth, you will start having to skip on snacks. This means that you will have to eat a nutritious diet to make sure you don’t feel weak because of the decrease in the intake of food.
Remember to drink enough water too, since your mouth may salivate excessively with aligners in, making you feel a bit dehydrated.
Your Invisalign provider may suggest using Invisalign attachments or buttons as part of your treatment procedure, where small dots of dental bonding material are attached to specific teeth. These Invisalign attachments act as anchors and provide a better grip to help the aligners stay in place and keep from slipping. Invisalign attachments can be colored to match your natural teeth and are generally not very visible, but can make a huge difference to the quality and effectiveness of your treatment.
Listen to your orthodontist when he or she asks you to keep your aligners on for a few more days or change them more frequently. You will only be obstructing your treatment if you put in different trays without your orthodontist’s green signal.
When you take your clear aligners out, you should put them in a retainer case, or at least wrap them up in a clean napkin. It’s really easy for your retainers to be accidentally lost or thrown away. Instead, if you carry a case for your retainers, you will know for sure that you know right where to find them when you have to put them back in.
“Chewies” are small, spongy cushions that help to close any air gaps between Invisalign aligners and your teeth. Made with Styrene Copolymer, a soft plastic-like material, these cylinder-shaped cushions are available in various colors and flavors. Biting down on them for 5-10 minutes a few times daily helps your aligner ‘sit’ better, so it fits more securely against your teeth. New aligners may not fit tightly at first, and using chewies to provide extra pressure can help straighten your teeth faster.
IPR or Interproximal Reduction is an additional procedure that may be required in some cases of orthodontic treatment. If your teeth are crowded and there’s not enough space for tooth movement, your dentist may need to remove a small amount of enamel from between certain teeth at various stages of Invisalign treatment. This procedure uses digital scanning and computer modeling to determine exactly where more space is needed to move your teeth, and how much.
Yes, we know you are looking forward to finishing your Invisalign treatment permanently, but you might need to wear a retainer. This is because it takes time for your newly aligned teeth to settle in the soft tissue and jawbone that houses them. A retainer is a custom-made apparatus designed to keep teeth in place after your aligners are taken off. Your orthodontist might advise you to keep wearing your retainers the whole day or even at night, depending on your orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign may not be the best choice for straightening teeth that are very crooked, but it’s a discreet and effective solution for minor bite and alignment issues. To learn more, discuss your treatment procedure with your Invisalign provider or call 1-559-439-0425 today!
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Also Read: 6 Effective Ways to Bid Farewell to Your Invisalign Pain
Dr. Brian Thurman has spent his entire life enjoying all the beauty that California has to offer. A Fresno native, he still escapes to the ocean or the mountains whenever his busy schedule allows. Driven by his love for natural beauty, Dr. Thurman enjoys creating beautiful smiles and healthy bites that last a lifetime. He is proud to be the only Ivy League trained Orthodontist in the Fresno/Clovis area.